Saskatoon has led the way amongst Canadian Regional Health Authorities (roughly the equivalents of Ontario LHINs) in acting against systemic and pervasive health inequities. They began from solid research on the contours of local health inequities, developed comprehensive strategies and action plans to address the roots of these inequities, and built local collaborations and effective innovative programs.
Dr. Cory Neudorf is Chief Medical Health Officer for Saskatoon Health Region and a long-time public health leader. He spoke to a Wellesley Health Equity Forum on lessons learned in tackling health equity at a local and neighbourhood level. Among those lessons is building coalitions beyond health and the usual partners; he highlighted working intensively with business, Aboriginal, faith and other community leaders and grass-roots organizations. Another is the need to rigorously collect the data that allows us to determine what programs are working in their particular contexts and to build equity into overall quality drivers and performance management systems. He was joined for a lively panel discussion by Drs. Penny Sutcliffe and David McKeown, Medical Officers of Health for Sudbury and Toronto respectively, who have led driving health equity in Ontario public health circles. Here are the slides for Dr. Neudorf’s presentation.